Set Realistic Expectations for Recovery with These 6 Steps

Unrealistic expectations can set people up for failure at any stage of life. The idea that things are not as they should be can keep people’s mindsets from focusing on what is good about today. It is easier to fantasize about the future or romanticize the past, but rehab is the space to get honest and vulnerable about the real challenges facing people with addiction. Embrace more realistic expectations with these six steps for a better experience.

What is Unrealistic

If a person is not sure what they are getting into or expect the recovery to look different, they may be setting themselves up for disappointment. This disappointment can lead to disillusionment, which might become a trigger for relapse. The rehab process looks different for everyone. Some common unrealistic expectations may include:

  • Trying to do it alone without support
  • Expecting all problems to be solved
  • Expecting addiction recovery to happen quickly
  • Failing to understand how much work goes into recovery
  • Believing addiction recovery has an end date
  • Trying to take control of rehab experience rather than embrace what is happening
Take Steps Forward

Treatment is a time to release expectations and embrace life to the full as it is now. When things go well, you might think they’ll keep going. However, life can be tough for a time, too. It is not easy going to rehab. Being realistic helps keep people from feeling disappointed down the road of recovery.

  • Addiction recovery is about education. When people learn more about addiction, they are less likely to repeat the same mistakes in recovery
  • Recovery is not a one-time event. Even if people go through rehab, they can take the lessons they’ve learned and begin to make changes as they go
  • Be realistic: having goals that line up with expectations can help you stay on track and develop expectations. These goals are like steps you can take to fulfill expectations. Concrete goals with solid action plans help keep a realistic approach to addiction recovery
  • Be healthy: don’t worry about other parts of life, the focus should be on staying healthy and sober. This starts with good health goals around nutrition and wellness
  • Seek support: people want to help and support the journey. Counselors, support groups, and family are great places to start finding support
  • Have contingency plans: there will be times when things are disrupted and moved around. Learn to have a plan for when this happens to prevent things from spiraling out of control when life happens

When all else fails, it helps to practice gratitude. It helps to be grateful and supportive of the personal journey of recovery. Life is challenging when it comes to negotiating the ups and downs people face but healing is possible for the long haul with the right expectations in place.

The Last Resort is a safe place to come and find healing. We provide tools and resources for you to recover from addiction, along with post-rehab tools for aftercare. If you are ready to quit drinking or using drugs, call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.